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Parents-bill-Of-rights New York State Department of Education

Parents-bill-Of-rights New York State Department of Education

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Parents' Bill of Rights - New York State Department of Education
Parents' Bill of Rights - New York State Department of Education

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Published by: dsx_shep on Jul 31, 2014
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10/01/2014

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Rev. 7-29-14 1
PARENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS FOR DATA PRIVACY AND SECURITY
 To satisfy their responsibilities regarding the provision of education to students in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, “educational agencies” (as defined below) in the State of  New York collect and maintain certain personally identifiable information from the education records of their students. As part of the Common Core Implementation Reform Act, Education Law §2-d requires that each educational agency in the State of New York must develop a Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security (Parents’ Bill of Rights). The Parents’ Bill of Rights must be published on the website of each educational agency, and must be included with every contract the educational agency enters into with a “third party contractor” (as defined  below) where the third party contractor receives student data, or certain protected teacher/principal data related to Annual Professional Performance Reviews that is designated as confidential pursuant to Education Law §3012-c (“APPR data”). The purpose of the Parents’ Bill of Rights is to inform parents (which also include legal guardians or persons in parental relation to a student, but generally not the parents of a student who is age eighteen or over) of the legal requirements regarding privacy, security and use of student data. In addition to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Education Law §2-d provides important new protections for student data, and new remedies for  breaches of the responsibility to maintain the security and confidentiality of such data.
A.
 
What are the essential parents’ rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) relating to personally identifiable information in their child’s student records?
The rights of parents under FERPA are summarized in the Model Notification of Rights  prepared by the United States Department of Education for use by schools in providing annual notification of rights to parents. It can be accessed at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/lea-officials.html, and a copy is attached to this Parents’ Bill of Rights. Complete student records are maintained by schools and school districts, and not at the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Further, NYSED would need to establish and implement a means to verify a parent’s identity and right of access to records before processing a request for records to the school or school district. Therefore, requests to access student records will be most efficiently managed at the school or school district level. Parents’ rights under FERPA include: 1.
 
The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the school or school district receives a request for access. 2.
 
The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Complete student records are maintained by schools and school districts and not at NYSED, which is the secondary repository of
 
Rev. 7-29-14 2 data, and NYSED make amendments to school or school district records. Schools and school districts are in the best position to make corrections to students’ education records. 3.
 
The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (including but not limited to disclosure under specified conditions to: (i) school officials within the school or school district with legitimate educational interests; (ii) officials of another school for  purposes of enrollment or transfer; (iii) third party contractors providing services to, or performing functions for an educational agency; (iv) authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as NYSED; (iv) (v) organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational agencies) and (vi) the  public where the school or school district has designated certain student data as “directory information” (described below). The attached FERPA Model Notification of Rights more fully describes the exceptions to the consent requirement under FERPA). 4.
 
Where a school or school district has a policy of releasing “directory information” from student records, the parent has a right to refuse to let the school or school district designate any all of such information as directory information. Directory information, as defined in federal regulations, includes: the student’s name, address, telephone number, email address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, grade level, enrollment status, dates of attendance, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards received and the most recent educational agency or institution attended. Where disclosure without consent is otherwise authorized under FERPA, however, a parent’s refusal to permit disclosure of directory information does not prevent disclosure pursuant to such separate authorization. 5.
 
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
B.
 
What are parents’ rights under the Personal Privacy Protection Law (PPPL), Article 6-A of the Public Officers Law relating to records held by State agencies?
The PPPL (Public Officers Law §§91-99) applies to all records of State agencies and is not specific to student records or to parents. It does not apply to school districts or other local educational agencies. It imposes duties on State agencies to have procedures in place to  protect from disclosure of “personal information,” defined as information which because of a name, number, symbol, mark or other identifier, can be used to identify a “data subject” (in this case the student or the student’s parent). Like FERPA, the PPPL confers a right on the data subject (student or the student’s parent) to access to State agency records relating to them and requires State agencies to have procedures for correction or amendment of records.
 
Rev. 7-29-14 3 A more detailed description of the PPPL is available from the Committee on Open Government of the New York Department of State. Guidance on what you should know about the PPPL can be accessed at http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/shldno1.html. The
 
Committee on Open Government’s address is Committee on Open Government, Department of State, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, suite 650, Albany, NY 12231, their email address is coog@dos.ny.gov, and their telephone number is (518) 474-2518.
 
C. Parents’ Rights Under Education Law §2-d relating to Unauthorized Release of
 
Personally Identifiable Information 1.
 
What “educational agencies” are included in the requirements of Education Law §2-d?
 
The New York State Education Department (“NYSED”);
 
Each public school district;
 
Each Board of Cooperative Educational Services or BOCES; and
 
All schools that are:
o
 
a public elementary or secondary school;
o
 
a universal pre-kindergarten program authorized pursuant to Education Law §3602-e;
o
 
an approved provider of preschool special education services;
o
 
any other publicly funded pre-kindergarten program;
o
 
a school serving children in a special act school district as defined in Education Law 4001; or
o
 
certain schools for the education of students with disabilities - an approved private school, a state-supported school subject to the provisions of Education Law Article 85, or a state-operated school subject to Education Law Article 87 or 88.
2. What kind of student data is subject to the confidentiality and security requirements of Education Law §2-d?
The law applies to personally identifiable information contained in student records of an educational agency listed above. The term “student” refers to any person attending or seeking to enroll in an educational agency, and the term “personally identifiable information” (“PII”) uses the definition provided in FERPA. Under FERPA, personally identifiable information or PII includes, but is not limited to: (a) The student’s name; (b) The name of the student’s parent or other family members; (c) The address of the student or student’s family; (d) A personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number, student number, or biometric record; (e) Other indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, and Mother’s Maiden Name
1
;
1
 Please note that NYSED does not collect certain information defined in FERPA, such as students’ social security numbers, biometric records, mother’s maiden name (unless used as the mother’s legal name).

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